- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
O’Malley opposes PG choice for delegate
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is locked in a standoff with Prince George’s County Democrats over appointing a House of Delegates nominee who has a dark past and is already suing to keep control of the seat.
“The governor prefers that they withdraw his name. That position remains the same,” O'Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guillory said Wednesday. “He believes that there are plenty of other people in Prince George’s County that he would be happy to appoint.”
The governor’s objections appear to be about legal issues in Mr. Hall’s past, but he lacks the power to overrule the county’s decision. Maryland is one of 17 states that appoints replacements for vacant legislative seats, but does not give the governor any say. Maryland law requires the governor to accept and finalize the county’s appointment, and Mr. O'Malley must do so by Monday unless the committee rescinds its choice.
Maryland also does not hold special elections to fill General Assembly seats vacated during a term, leaving local party officials to make decisions that can lead to behind-the-scenes power plays.
“This situation speaks to the potential problems of not having a special election,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington. “To the maximum extent possible, I think it’s wise for these decisions to be left up to voters.”
Mr. Hall, now 42, faced murder charges in 1992 after he took part in a shootout that killed a 13-year-old boy who was caught in the crossfire.
The charges were dropped after investigators found that another man fired the first shot and the bullet that killed the boy. Mr. Hall was convicted on a misdemeanor gun charge.
Since then, Mr. Hall has had other brushes with the law, including theft charges in 1998 and 2004. He said those charges were related to buying cars with invalid license tags he did not know about. Both charges were dropped.
Mr. Hall was charged this year with driving on a suspended license, but that charge was also dropped. He also recently told The Washington Post that he owes at least $9,000 in back taxes.
While Maryland law leaves Mr. Hall’s appointment in the hands of party officials, 25 states including Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania hold special elections to fill mid-term vacancies in their state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Five states leave the decision up to the departing lawmaker’s statewide political party, while seven leave it to a county board of commissioners and two put it in the hands of part or all of the state legislature.
The remaining 11 states, including Maryland, involve the governor in carrying out the decision, but just eight allow the governor to select the actual appointee.
Numerous county officials argue that Mr. Hall is a worthy replacement with strong community ties, and that he has worked to make amends for his actions.
Mr. Hall filed suit in Prince George’s Circuit Court requesting a restraining order to keep the central committee from withdrawing his appointment. The committee voted Tuesday not to act on the issue until after further proceedings in the case.
J. Wyndal Gordon, an attorney for Ms. Alston, declined to comment on the matter Wednesday.
However, he said the governor’s lack of official input is likely to shield him from any harm to his long-term reputation or his ability to work with Prince George’s Democrats.
“It’s an unpleasant moment for the governor, but he seems likely to walk away with minimal damage,” Mr. Farnsworth said. “He’s not the one with the legal troubles.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Hill joined The Washington Times in February 2011 as a Maryland political reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Md. drivers could face eventual doubling of gas tax
- Federal appeals court restores Maryland's concealed carry law
- Md. bill would end student suspensions for mimicking gun behavior
- Maryland Senate passes bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell assailed on transportation
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes